Moscow: Russia`s new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will have a five-tonne warhead, which is four times that of its predecessors, a former military commander said.
"The new ICBM will have a payload four times bigger than that of the Yars missile," said Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin (retd.), advisor to the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) commander, who served as SMF chief of staff in 1991-93.
"The 45-tonne Yars has a payload of 1.2 tonnes. The new missile will be able to orbit a payload of five tonnes."
The new missile will have a greater capability for missile defence penetration, he said.
SMF chief Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said Russia will build a new ICBM by 2018. The new missile is to replace the R-36M2 Voyevoda (NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan) missile.
So far, all of Russia`s recent ICBM projects, both sea-launched (Bulava) and ground-based (Topol-M, Yars), have been solid fuel.
Karakayev said the new ICBM will have a launch mass of around 100 tonnes with a better payload-launch weight ratio than in a solid fuel missile.
The Russian defence ministry previously said that unless the US abandons its plans to create a missile defence system in Europe, Russia will take counter measures, including building a new heavy liquid-propellant missile.